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Myanmar kills 3,000 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine

11th Sep 2017
Myanmar kills 3,000 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine

By Mutasim Billah


DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA): Myanmar security forces have killed at least 3,000 Rohingya people in the latest violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, Bangladesh’s foreign minister said on Sunday. Meanwhile Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi supported Myanmar Government condemning Rohingyas of “terrorist attacks in northern Rakhine State”.

“They have killed over 3,000 people there and razed their houses,” Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali told the press, after briefing envoys of Arab and western states and representatives of United Nations agencies in Dhaka on Bangladesh’s efforts for Rohingya refugees.

The foreign minister said the international community described the violence in Rakhine as “genocide and we, too, think so”.

Ali said 300,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh in the past fortnight while 4,000 of them had earlier fled to Bangladesh to escape torture by the security forces.

The minister told the envoys that Bangladesh had been accommodating 400,000 Rohingya for the past three decades and the current wave of surges raised the figure to 700,000 to present a huge challenge for Dhaka in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistance to them.

The foreign minister stated that the whole world is today with Bangladesh, saying “The international community has shown interest in cooperation in both political and humanitarian issues.

“Several countries have already announced additional funds. This fund will be adjusted through the United Nations.”

Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.

In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.

Fresh violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state nearly two weeks ago when security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya community.

Bangladesh, which already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya refugees, has faced a fresh influx of refugees since the security operation was launched.

On Saturday, the UN said at least 290,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh.

Four days ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood next to Myanmar’s de-facto leader in Nyay Pyi Taw and described India and Myanmar as “partners” in their concern over the loss of lives due to “extremist violence” in Rakhine State.

The India-Myanmar joint statement issued a day later also reflected this position, mentioning only the violence by Rohingya militants. “India condemned the recent terrorist attacks in northern Rakhine State, wherein several members of the Myanmar security forces lost their lives,” said the bilateral document.

The Indian prime minister’s remarks were arguably in line with the previous Indian foreign policy position on the Rohingya issue – which has become so aligned with Myanmar that they do not even use the term ‘Rohingya’.

[Photo:  Rohingya Muslims, fleeing from ongoing military operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state by boat over sea land in Shah Pori island, Teknaff, Bangladesh on September 10, 2017. Photographer: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/AA]

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